National Hunt racing /Steeple Chasing...

Discussion in 'Horse Racing' started by primrosecourt, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. primrosecourt

    primrosecourt Well-known Member

    Just wondered why there is very little if not any jump racing in Australia??
    I think it is an extrodonary sport combining courage and strength from both horse and rider.Its a fantastic spectator sport aswell.
    Coming from the home of National Hunt racing i really miss it since moving out here.
    Ive heard there is small hurdle races over east somewhere but wondered why this sport is not as big as it is in Europe??:D
  2. pso

    pso Gold Member

    I agree, great sport!
    There is a bit over east... (but with plastic hedges!!)
    I think the main reasons its not taken of are; (JMO)
    a) Its seen as a bit of a cop out-many of the horses are only doing it cos they are too slow for the flat. Theres no purpose breeding like in the UK, and hence theres no real prestige, and so no sponsor $$
    b) Lack of knowledge/mentoring- in the uk there are so many people into it, that there is always someone to ask for help, and as it has been for going for generations, lots of knowlegde is passed down
    c) riding ability...

    It was suggested a few years back, and thrown out fairly quickly... Tho they did get the eventers togeter for a demo race (they had a ball!)

    I think its even being phased out of 3DE? or is that just the R&T?
  3. springbok

    springbok Well-known Member

    Good question - I have often wondered that same thing while reading UK magazines as jump racing appears very popular over there. I know there used to be steeple chasing here in WA but not for a long time and I haven't really heard of any clubs or functions of it at all over here.

    The steeple chase phase (phase B) of a 3DE as well as phase A and C (roads and tracks) now rarely occurs - most events are short format where Phase D (cross country) is extended in length (and thus time). The last long format 3DE in WA was in 2002 I think. It was my first 3DE and I was 14 and those steeple chase fences where scary lol. I'm so glad I did it though as I wouldn't have a chance now and once out there it was quite fun. I have a photo somewhere of it ...... I do remember going too fast as my watch stuffed up and having to slow right down for the last fence oooops.

    Anyone who does it in a race with lots of horses I applaud - I found it scary enough on my own *#).

  4. Jez

    Jez Gold Member

    East coast and NZ - dont know why no one hurdles here.
  5. Aussie Cowgirl

    Aussie Cowgirl Active Member

    very good question, may have to ask louigi about that one.

    I think it may be lack of knowledge also if any body works, is a trainer or an owner you will know how hard it is to find a jockey around the plce let alone one that rides in steeple chase.
  6. primrosecourt

    primrosecourt Well-known Member

    Thanks guys........yes I hadnt thought of the lack of riders!I guess I keep forgetting how small the 'racing field ' is here compared to the UK and lack of jockeys.
    It definately is a very demanding sport and not for the faint hearted.Its also not very well sponsered so it doesnt attract the big studs/owners.
    I could never understand that as I think its far more exciting to watch than the flat racing (and I mean it in the nicest possible way!:)* )
    I have just come back from a week up in the Cotswolds and went to a wedding with all my old 'jockey and trainer 'friends'.every second yard is a NH yard or PTP yard.
    I guess I will have to carry on getting my yearly fix when I come home then!
  7. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    As a child that's what I wanted to be. A national hunt jockey, I once wrote to "Jim'll fix it" to be able to have a go. My dad's side of the family used to all be into "point to point". I watch the Grand National and get goosebumps what a wonderful thing to ride those jumps. whooohoo. Husband just shakes his head at me, Ok perhaps I'm just slightly MAD.*#)

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